Monday, May 30, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
TORNADO! THE STORY BEHIND THESE TWISTING, TURNING, SPINNING AND SPIRALING STORMS- Judith Bloom Frindell and Dennis Brindell Fradin
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
A month or so ago, I received an email asking if I would be willing to review Pam Allyn's BEST BOOKS FOR BOYS on my blog. As the mom of two aliterate high school athletes, I was more than happy to oblige. My boys have spent their high school years reading the classics that I read in high school: CATCHER IN THE RYE (not to be confused with CATCHER OF THE RYE BREAD, as it has come to be known at our house), TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD ("We have to go buy some old book about a bird tonight, but I can't remember the title"), and GRAPES OF WRATH (Have you ever heard of this guy named John Steinberg?). We have also read other titles bound to capture the attention of every normal adolescent: SNOW IN AUGUST and ROOTS, for example. While I know that all of these books are important, all I want for my boys is that that read; that they know the power of a good book (or poem, or article, etc) -- to entertain, or inform, or escape, or transform. And that simply isn't happening in their lives…
I was delighted, then, to read PAM ALLYN'S BOOKS FOR BOYS. The book is divided into three parts. The first section is an introduction and overview. The second section is a question and answer format (e.g. What if boys are highly active and don't want to sit still to read? What about online reading? How can I build boys' confidence as readers? How can I get boys interested in girl books?). Lots of these would be terrific discussions for professional development.
The third section is a phenomenal list of books divided by topic (e.g. Action and Adventure, Art and Music, Mystery and Horror, Expeditions, Humor, Math and Numbers, Biographies, Technology ) and then further divided by reading/emotional stage (Emerging, Developing, Maturing). Many of the titles are accompanied by sublists (if you liked this book, you will also like…) or topics for conversation. I was super impressed by the booklists- I think I'm pretty conversant in this area and there were LOTS of titles that I had never heard of.
Allyn's book has been featured on several different blogs this moth. You can read reviews at SNAPSHOTS OF MRS. V , THE LITERACY TOOLBOX and READING REWARDS. My friend Kyle interviewed Pam at THE BOY READER earlier this week.
I decided that rather than review the book, I would simply pull out a few quotes I loved, and leave you to swish them around in your mind:
In the great picture book and true story by Mordecai Gerstein, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, the performance artist Philippe Petit practices for years to walk on a tightrope wire between the two World Trade Towers. “He looked not at the towers but at the space between them and thought, what a wonderful place to stretch a rope.”
Reading can feel as risky as walking a tightrope even if it doesn’t look nearly as daring. It can be so public in the classroom that a boy who wants to hide his vulnerability might prefer resistance to falling in front of his peers. This book is about fortifying our teaching so that our boys see the space between and say “What a wonderful place to stretch a rope.” 7
My mission is to help all children achieve not only functional literacy but transformational literacy. The kind of literacy that will allow them to learn something new every day, connect to all people everywhere, and to invent new ideas that could change the world.—And in this process, to learn, through reading, how to be the kind of person they want to become. 9
Absorption is the one key quality I believe is missing from our instruction. We jump from skill to skill, activity to activity. Let’s create a sanctuary around the independent reading time so that boys can dig in, discover, wander and explore. 21
The problem is not that boys are “too active,” the problem is that our classrooms do not allow them to be themselves. 23
The best way to promote reading for pleasure is to LET KIDS READ.
Make sure your number one priority is EYES ON TEXT. Make sure each and every day you are giving your boy readers ample opportunity to read and that minutes spent reading is really minutes spent reading and not mostly you talking about the reading.
Friday, May 6, 2011
William Ross Wallace
They say that man is mighty
He governs land and sea
He wields a mighty spectre,
O'er lesser powers that be,
But a mightier power and stronger
Man from his throne has hurled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle,
Is the hand that rocks the world.
I spent a good chunk of yesterday in first grade, helping children prepare gift poems for Mother's Day. Not sure we have any future Mary Olivers, but I think some moms are going to be really happy on Sunday.
My mom looks beautiful
My mom feels like smooth skin
My mom smells like perfume
My mom sounds like music
My mom dances like crazy!
My mom looks like candy.
She smells like mint.
She feels like gummy bears.
She likes cherries.
Looks like an angel
Sounds like a kitten
Feels like a marshmallow
And smells like green beans.
My mom is a cook.
My mom is an artist.
My mom is nice.
I love my mom.By DS
I know she looks beautiful
I know she smiles all the time
I know she sounds fun
I know she feels soft like a bed
And she smells like chicken soup
I know my mom.ECR
My mom looks like a sweet teddy bear to me;
My mom feels like a soft bird when she hugs me.
My mom smells like a purple rose.
My mom has a voice like music.
I feel like I have more company
when I’m with her.
I love my mom.
She has dark hair like chocolate,
Her hugs make me feel happy and surprised,
Her hugs protect me.
She is sometimes soft
And sometimes loud
And sometimes funny.
My mom loves me
and I love my mom.By AB
My mom looks like a cupcake
because she is pretty.
My mom feels soft like marshmallows.
My mom smells like strawberry jam.
My mom sounds like singing birds.
My mom makes me feel good.
I love my mom.
My mom is skinny and soft.
My mom’s voice sounds like a flute.
She loves me.
She is my mom.
Poetry Friday is at THE FAMILY BOOKSHELF (formerly Scrub-A-Dub Tub)